April 11, 2015
After getting up at 2 am on Friday to purchase a 42mm Space Gray Sport Watch with the black band, I scheduled an appointment to see the Apple Watch in person for Saturday at my nearest Apple Store, some two hours drive away.
This was my first time buying an Apple product at the moment of its release and I made a tactical blunder that cost me about 2-4 weeks delivery time. I forgot to change the credit card on my Apple account ahead of time and therefore had to make that change at 2:01 am when the store came back up. At first I tried to make this update via my iPad Air 2, but I couldn’t get past the phone number formatting, so I ended up wasting more time doing it on my laptop.
My order was placed at 2:09 am and already the shipping date had slipped from April 24 to at least May 13. I will be taking pains to have my account ready ahead of time this autumn when the new iPhone goes on sale.
The Country Club Plaza Apple Store was fairly crowded when I arrived about 15 minutes early for my try-on appointment. However I only had to wait a few minutes before I was led over to the side of the store for my trial. I requested to see a 42mm Sport watch with the black fluoroelastomer band, and one with the leather loop band. The Apple Store employee (whose name has escaped me) first put the sport band watch on my arm and then had my double-press the button on the side of the watch. This started a preprogrammed demo of the watch. The demo was not interactive, but did show off the watch’s interface and taptic capabilities.
Next he put the leather loop band on. It was fastened to a stainless steel watch. I had read some reports that the leather loop wasn’t as soft was advertised, and while I agree it isn’t the most supple leather in the world, I liked how it felt on my wrist.
Holding the two watches, one in each hand, I could discern that the stainless steel one is slightly heavier, however in the brief period of time that I had them on, I really couldn't tell that it was heavier. After trying the Sport model on with the fluoroelastomer band I was convinced I had made the right purchase choice. I am very tempted by the leather loop band and will likely order one of those. The sport band has a small metal post that holds the band in place and I'm worred that it will mar the wrist rest on my MacBook Pro. The leather loop band has no metal that would mar the laptop. However I may wait until I have the watch to purchase a second band for it.
I asked about the strength of the taps on the wrist, could they be adjusted. The clerk didn’t know. Later, when I was exploring the demonstration watches embedded in a little stand with a screen to explain various features, I discovered a setting that would make some taptic taps stronger.
I also asked if the bands could go on the watch either way. I.e., could the two halves of the band be attached to either the top or the bottom of the watch. That answer is yes. Also, in the settings you can specify which wrist the watch is on, left or right, and which side the crown is on, left or right. You could set up the watch on either wrist with the crown on the elbow side or the hand side. On the elbow side you’d use your thumb on the crown, whereas on the wrist side you’d use your forefinger on the crown.
The crown is amazing. It has a wonderfully smooth action, that has just the right amount of drag. Pressing it once takes you to the home screen. Pressing it twice in succession lets you bounce back and forth between the last two apps you visited.
After my trail fitting was over I spent a good 30 minutes exploring all the apps on the demo watch. Not everything was turned on. Those things that required being mated with a phone (remote camera features) were not enabled. I was most intrigued by the fitness apps. I wear a Fitbit Flex and I am very interested to see how the activity tracking the Apple Watch provides compares to the Flex.
I have wanted an Apple Watch since they were announced last autumn, and after trying a couple on today and after exploring the demo watch, I am even more anxious to have one of my own.